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Travis Aaron Wade (John Hickman), Tina Huang (Brooks), Howard Johnson Jr. (Ben), Jason Foster (Jake), Rajiv Shah (Wayne), Trevor Bullock (Quincy)
Directed by Jim Isaac
"There's a lot of crazy shit in these woods."
The Short Version:There's a lot of potential here, but the film fails to capitalize on so many of its deranged elements until it's too late. Still, it's the best movie Rob Zombie never made. Occasionally this putrid patchwork is a bit of fun, but this raw, roast pork tenderloin may be a hard sell for mainstream horror meat eaters.
***WARNING! This review contains some nudity***
John and his friends leave San Francisco headed for a rural, out of the way California town to his deceased uncles cabin on a hunting trip. Once they arrive, they find the place in shambles and a slew of inhospitable and bizarre characters as well as 'The Ripper', a 3,000 pound man eating, humongous hog from hell.
From the man who sent Jason Voorhee's to the Final Frontier in JASON X (2000), comes this incredibly quirky, wildly enthusiastic, splatterific throwback to the grand and gritty redneck horror and hixploitation genre. Isaac's film is one of the most bizarre things I've laid my eyes on in years, but it fails more than it succeeds. Occasionally ponderous, the movie never truly kicks into high gear until the last 15, or 20 minutes. The monster porcine never makes its reveal till the end, although you do get a glimpse of its carnage at irregular intervals.
Equal parts DELIVERANCE (1970), HUNTER'S BLOOD (1987) and RAZORBACK (1984), this undercooked pork chop also echoes TEXAS CHAINSAW (1974). It has some nice stunt work during a big chase sequence and some decent gore during the latter half of the film. But the picture is seriously hindered by a tedious mid section.
Even with the introduction of a homicidal hippy commune and various peculiar, off the wall redneck characters, the pace drastically compromises the flow of the film. It does start off on the right foot (a redneck store clerk using a naked centerfold sums up the lude humor), but several needlessly padded stretches with the hunters (one bit has them all partaking in a shooting contest with cans) adds nothing.
A good chunk of the running time is spent walking around in the woods hunting the big pig. There's also a blatant political subtext involving the Iraq war that looms heavy during the first half (beginning with the credits sequence), but disappears later in the picture. It's only when a fight breaks out resulting in the death of one of the deranged hillbillies that things pick up considerably. The rednecks pursue the hunters leading to a nicely done action set piece for an independent feature.
Not long after, we're introduced to a decadent hippy commune out in the middle of nowhere that appears at first to be a man's paradise; there's beautiful and completely naked women bathing in a spring. We soon learn they are the keepers of the rampaging, titanic tenderloin that regularly enjoys human sacrifices provided by the murderous commune. Throughout the movie, the characters find the words, "Death walks on all fours" painted in blood on various markings. So much is made of the big boar, yet he provides little threat to the characters aside from the few that remain at the conclusion.
It also should be noted that the movie contains what is without doubt the weirdest, most annoying soundtrack ever conceived for a film. Still, Jim Isaac's movie has all the ingredients to become a nifty little exploitation classic including a nasty monster covered in mud, blood and snot and some funny and tasteless dialog. But its shortcomings cause it to be crushed under the mighty weight of the rampaging porker.
This review is representative of the Lightning Media DVD.
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I've been a huge movie buff since childhood catching old horror and monster flicks on Shock Theater and kung fu movies at the drive-in during the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a long time fascination with, and appreciate all genres of fantastic cinema, good and bad. One fans cheese is another fans juicy steak. I like both equally and seldom find a film I truly dislike as I will find something of interest in just about anything. The bulk of the films or tv series' seen here are mostly from my childhood, or films I own in what has become an Amazing Colossal DVD collection.